Monday, July 24, 2017

Antica Napa Valley (Antinori Family Estates) 2014 Chardonnay








Antica Napa Valley (Antinori Family Estates) 2014 Chardonnay, $26.34-$34.99, 91 points, poured a pale straw yellow color.
Aromatic lemon meringue pie, hints of fresh-cut grass, and a floral vibe were excellent.
Medium bodied with good acidity and complex flavors of tropical and yellow stone fruit garnished with lemon and a kiss of oak won over a Chablis lover.
Finished long on ginger, peach, lemon, and a well-balanced 14.1% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with our Asian cuisine.

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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Fritz Estate Dry Creek Valley 2013 Zinfandel






Fritz Estate Dry Creek Valley 2013 Zinfandel, $17.99-$25.99 (birthday gift), 87 points, poured a deep sienna color with a clear wine ring and leggy glass bowl.
Aromas were a bit herbal with dusty red fruit.
Medium-bodied with good acidity and a soft underlayment of tannin managed a somewhat Primitivo-styled Zinfandel.
More a red fruit (red raspberry) flavor profiled Zinfandel than is typical of Dry Creek, but way tastier than most reviews I've read.
Finished fair on easy spices, herbal, and a touch plumy, having a well-integrated 14.6% alcohol.
Paired fine with my Mexican cuisine.
This Zinfandel needed decanting.

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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Vinum Cellars Seashell Vineyard, Paso Robles 2016 Rosé







Vinum Cellars Seashell Vineyard, Paso Robles 2016 Rosé, $10.62-$14.49, 88 points, appeared exactly the color you see in the photograph (salmon pink).
Shy aromas of peach and strawberry were pleasant.
The medium body with fair-plus acidity was about the wine's texture; this is a tactile Rosé steeped in smooth flavors of mild earthy kava and mango.
Finished nicely on the trailing palate, red cherry, and a spot-on 13% alcohol.
Varietals were Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre.
As with most Rosé wines, you'll enjoy this South Rhône-styled Rosé well chilled; there's reasons for those twist-off caps (fresh and 'cold').
Paired perfectly with my Mexican cuisine.

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Friday, July 21, 2017

AVA Grace Vineyards 2015 Sauvignon Blanc






AVA Grace Vineyards 2015 Sauvignon Blanc, $6.79-$10.99, 86 points, poured a light brass color grading clear at the glass shallows.
Aromas of hay with the slightest hint of tomato juice were just okay for me.
Light-bodied with good acidity and grassy flavors highlighted by hints of vanilla, kiwi, peach, and pear were graceful.
Finished long on a gingery note, the trailing palate, and a well-balanced 13.5% alcohol.
Paired fine with my Maritime baked-stuffed lobster.
AVA Grace was a bargain SB at under $7xx.





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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Varner Santa Barbara County el camino vineyard 2014 Chardonnay






Varner Santa Barbara County el camino vineyard 2014 Chardonnay, $21.24-$24.99, 88 points, was a medium dark brass color.
The dominant oak aromas were nuanced with lemon and cantaloupe.
Medium-plus body with fair acidity managed a more pleasant Cali-typical flavor profile than most, lightening-up a bit on the vanilla/caramel notes while lingering lemon and apricot flavors capped-off a moderately restrained 13.8% alcohol.
Paired fine with our honey-roasted chicken wings.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Alvear Solera Cream NV Pedro Ximenez, Montilla-Moriles (Spain)




Alvear Solera Cream NV Pedro Ximenez, Montilla-Moriles (Spain), $12.99-$16.99, 87 points, needed to be decanted, but poured a cloudy fig flesh color.
Profuse aromas of raisins and plum wine were pleasant.
Full-bodied, sweet, but not cloying, fairly acidic, and carried complex flavors of plums, figs, raisins, and apricots.
Finished on a declining palate, and an escalating 18% alcohol.
Tasted with several desserts, but was quite overpowering; paired better with nuts, and best as a type of proprietary liqueur or an aperitif.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Chateau Montelena Napa Valley 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon





 
 
Chateau Montelena Napa Valley 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, $42.49-$59.99, 92 points, appeared an opaque Bordeaux red wine color with a broad clear wine ring and sheeted glass.
Aromatic black currants, toasty black cherry jam, and lovely cedar notes impressed.
Near full-bodied with good acidity and firm fine tannins carried energized cola, pomegranate, and other flavors reflective of the aromas.
Finished long and tart on the trailing palate, white pepper, plum notes, and a well-integrated 14.2% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with my pepper-burgers. 
 
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Monday, July 17, 2017

Gehricke (The Other Guys) Sonoma Valley 2013 Zinfandel









Gehricke (The Other Guys) Sonoma Valley 2013 Zinfandel, $22.09-$27.99, 92 points, poured ruby red toward the broad clear wine ring and glass bowl of moderate draping.
This lovely, elegant, smooth, aromatic (juniper, ripe warm blackberry, and cocoa), and clean Zinfandel is of the type that converts nonbelieving Cabernetphiles.
The medium-plus body with good acidity and supportive undercurrent of tannin deftly delivered delicious flavors of red and black fruit with nuanced sweet cooking herbs.
Finished long on the trailing palate, damson plum, citrus, easy warm spices, pencil lead, and a spot-on 14.5% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with our Mexican cuisine.
.
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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Beringer Main & Vine NV Merlot

 
 
 



Beringer Main and Vine NV Merlot, $4.00-$6.00, 84+ points, poured a bright sienna color with a very broad clear wine ring and a lightly draped glass bowl.
Shy aromas were toasty, herbal, and nuanced with a blueberry note.
Medium-bodied (a bit cloying) with barely fair acidity and easy tannins carried okay flavors of red raspberry, blueberry, and a hint of citrus.
Finished okay on easy spices, a hint of red licorice, mint, and a restrained 13.5% alcohol.
Paired well with our loaded pizza.
I bought this Merlot at the Market Basket of Bedford.
Comments: Reminded me of what I'd call an 'industrial' wine which was sufficiently tasty and serviceable for large gatherings or events; won't wow anyone, but might just save your budget (QPR was good).

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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Alexander Valley Vineyards Alexander Valley 2014 Merlot





Alexander Valley Vineyards Alexander Valley 2014 Merlot, $15.99-$19.99, 89 points, poured a deep ruby red with a broad clear wine ring and a leggy glass bowl.
Smells were herbal, earthy, and floral with hints of cedar, plum, and black currant.
Near full-bodied with good acidity and a sweet soft underlayment of tannin managed flavors reflective of the aromas.
Finished well on the trailing palate, juicy tangy blackberry, easy spice notes, and a well-balanced 14% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with our loaded pizza.
Want an excellent Merlot under $20? Look no further!

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Friday, July 14, 2017

Charles Krug Napa Valley 2013 Merlot








Charles Krug Napa Valley 2013 Merlot, $17.84-$24.99, 90 points, poured an opaque and slightly cloudy ruby red toward the broad clear wine ring and glass bowl of light draping.
Smells began beautifully with a cedar potpourri highlighted with blackberry, cocoa, and a floral vibe.
Medium-plus body with good acidity and soft round tannins managed rich, though marked by a mild mid palate fade, flavors of blackberry, cedar, mint, cola, and violets.
Finished well on the trailing palate, plum, tobacco, white pepper, and a touch of Sambuca (14.9% alcohol).
Varietals were a Bordeaux styled 86% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Malbec, and 1% Cabernet Franc.
Paired nicely without linguini and meatballs in a marinara sauce.

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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Frog's Leap Napa Valley 2016 Sauvignon Blanc







Frog's Leap Napa Valley 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, $18.69-$25.99, 92 points, poured a light brass color.
Smells of fresh-cut grass and hay were distinctive.
Light, crisp, stony, and a clean white wine with mouthwatering acidity, all of which gave great gravitas to the interesting flavor notes of tangerine, grapefruit, peach, and that fresh-cut grass.
Finished long on the trailing palate, a touch of ginger, and an easy 12.8% alcohol.

A beautiful and sophisticated expression of this varietal.
Paired perfectly with my Key lime pie

This is why Frog's Leap is a "Go to Winery."

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Cline Contra Costa County Live Oak Vineyard 2013 Zinfandel




Cline Contra Costa County Live Oak Vineyard 2013 Zinfandel, $12.74-$36.99, 90 points, poured a deep rose red color with abundant tears and a clear wine ring.
Aromas of blackberry, shoe leather, a floral note, and chocolate hints were interesting.
Medium-plus body with good acidity and an supportive underlayment of tannin managed well the dominant Damson plum flavor with mulberry and lingonberry notes.
Finished incredibly long on the 16% alcohol (some will find objectionable) inspirited hot spices and licorice.
Paired fine with my American Chop Suey.

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Wine Pairing; exempli gratia (e.g.) PB&J



Wine Pairing; exempli gratia (e.g.) PB-and-J
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Charles & Charles Columbia Valley Post 35 2014 Red Wine



 

Charles And Charles Columbia Valley Post 35 2014 Red Wine, $6.82-$14.99*, 87 points, poured core black grading purple/red at the broad clear wine ring and the light leggy glass wall.
Smells of bright black fruit, cedar, and a hint of coffee were excellent.
Full-bodied with good acidity, while the early to mid-palate underlayment of tannin escalated toward a wooly texture late palate and deep into the finish.
Flavors of truffle, plum, and a more tangy fruit were well balanced and much better than the 2012 vintage.
Finished fine on a restrained 13.5% alcohol and the trailing palate.
Varietals were 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Syrah.
*$6.82 closeout at Hannaford's Super Market of Bedford offers the Post 35 2014 Red Wine as an excellent QPR red wine; one to snatch-up before they're all gone.

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Monday, July 10, 2017

K. Vintners M.C.K Washington State 'Motor City Kitty' 2014 Syrah





K. Vintners M.C.K Washington State 'Motor City Kitty' 2014 Syrah, $29.74-$34.99, 91 points, appeared an opaque purple/red at the core and grading lighter toward the broad clear wine ring and lightly draped glass bowl.
Aromatic toast, blackberry, cocoa, and a soft floral vibe were excellent.
Medium-plus body with good acidity and soft, round, supportive tannins managed juicy black fruit flavors with nuanced loam and tart notes.
Finished long on the trailing palate, developing plum and pomegranate flavors with hints of white pepper, drying tannins, and a substantial 14% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with our pepperoni pizza.



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Sunday, July 9, 2017

Dazzle Cellars The Benches Vineyard At-Wallula, Julia's Dazzle Rosé (Horse Heaven Hills, WA)



I was blinded by the brilliance of Julia's bright Dazzle Pinot Gris Rosé!
Pinot Gris you say?




Dazzle Cellars The Benches Vineyard At-Wallula, Julia's Dazzle Rosé (Horse Heaven Hills, WA) $16.14-$18.99, 92 points, was a blend of ceramic and spice bounty peach colors.
Aromatic dusty floral notes were garnished with hints of strawberry and watermelon.
The light body belied the substantial flavors reflective of the aromas which carried deep into the long finish accented with kiwi and a surprisingly hefty 14.1% alcohol, and all wrapped in an invigorating acidity and stony minerality.
Varietal was 100% late hanging Pinot Gris.
If you think France dominates the elegant bottle market, then Dazzle is helping to change that.
Paired perfectly with my Mexican cuisine.

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Saturday, July 8, 2017

Eroica (Chateau Ste Michelle-Dr. Loosen) 2014 Columbia Valley Riesling






Eroica (Chateau Ste Michelle-Dr. Loosen) 2014 Columbia Valley Riesling, $14.44-$20.99, 93 points, poured a light brass color grading clear at the glass shallows.
Gentle aromas of peach, pome blossoms, and a faint hint of petrol were excellent.
Light-bodied (off-dry) with good acidity and flavors that rightly reflected the aromas with apple highlights were excellent too.
Finished long on the trailing palate, kiwi, and a spot-on 12% alcohol.
An amazingly versatile wine with our smorgasbord, especially my very own lobster rangoon hors d'oeuvres, but excellent with deep fried scallops, honeydew melon, and sweet carrot cake.  


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Friday, July 7, 2017

Ridge Paso Robles 2015 Zinfandel







Ridge Paso Robles 2015 Zinfandel, $28.89-$33.99, 93 points, poured an opaque ruby transitioning brighter toward the broad clear wine ring and leggy glass bowl.
Aromatic briar fruit, roses, and chocolate were typically Ridge amazing.
Medium-plus body with good acidity and a firm underlayment of tannin carried luscious and tart wild fruit flavors with nuanced floral and cocoa notes.
Finished long and intense on the trailing palate, easy spice notes, and spot on 14.8% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with our spice-rubbed rare Angus rib eye steak.

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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Groth Napa Valley Hillview Vineyard 2014 Chardonnay





Groth Napa Valley Hillview Vineyard 2014 Chardonnay, $25.49-$31.99, 91 points, poured a glossy gold color.
Shy aromas of warm wet stones with kisses of lemon, tangerine, vanilla, and honey were okay.
Medium-bodied with good acidity carried a faithful rendition of the aromas throughout the palate with a whisper of butter.
Finished moderately long on a trailing lemon note, a hint of ginger, and an appropriate Cali Chardonnay 14.3% alcohol.
Paired fine with our BLTs, but perfectly with my fried chicken.

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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Cakebread Cellars Napa Valley 2016 Sauvignon Blanc






Cakebread Cellars Napa Valley 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, $21.24-$24.99, 91 points, was a very light brass color quickly grading clear toward the glass wall.
Aromas of lime and fresh-cut grass were pleasant.
A light, crisp, and stoney Sauvignon Blanc with appropriate acidity managed a very clean presentation of lemon/lime and melon rind flavors.
Finished long and tart on the trailing palate, grapefruit, a complex spectrum of citrus, and a modest 13.8% alcohol
Varietals were 97% Sauvignon Blanc and 3% Sémillon.
Paired perfectly with my steamed Maritime lobster in drawn butter, but was only okay with my Key-lime pie.

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